[Air-l] What is a discipline - and publishing tips.

Irene Berkowitz berkowitz at mail.temple.edu
Thu Nov 7 08:26:04 PST 2002


Radhika,

I think feminist studies it is useful to the society in much more
substanative ways, than what women want.  I think that women's studies
have in fact, contributed significantly to the fact that you and I are
on an Academic Internet listserv.  I am merely talking to the
relationship between the "popular culture" and the "academy."  To get
back to the ethics question, I think this is one of those points or
spaces of resistance that must take place in a healthy society.   (I am
not a postmodern theorist so please excuse any errors or unintentional
misguided statements.) 

My problem is how do you keep this kind of study from being
marginalized both within and outside of the academy?  I, personally,
sometimes find the content so inaccessible that even I, as a somewhat
sympathetic and reasonably well-educated person easily become lost in
the writing.  My sister-in-law is a scholar in this area and sends me
things all of the time and I invariably have to write her back and ask
her to interpret what she thought I would be wholly sympathetic and
appreciative of. 

I think the interest of the broader culture in the internet if far more
conspicous.  Funders can understand this.



Irene Berkowitz
Coordinator for Curricular Publications and Systems
Office of the Vice Provost
Temple University
tel. 215-204-7596  fax. 215-204 3175
berkowitz at mail.temple.edu

>>> radhika at cyberdiva.org 11/07/2002 11:09:38 AM >>>
I too have to rush and I really know what you mean and maybe this is 
what you are saying in a different way - ..

just wanted to point out that "feminist theory's" *is* "usefulness" 
in the economy - it is made useful when consumed and circulated in a 
certain way (and then it's political purpose is diffused and 
scattered and less threatening - its made more palatable etc) - I am 
talking about a kind of appropriation (which nonetheless *does* - 
even if accidentally _ open up spaces...) look at how "gender" issues 
and "women's research" is so "hip" to do these days - as long as you 
can sell it in a "What women Want" kind of way...

more later,

and Steve - thanks for the chronicle articles .

r



At 10:11 AM -0500 11/7/02, Irene Berkowitz wrote:
>Radhika,
>
>I can't write much now because I have to go back to precisely what we
>are selling, but the issue, I believe, is that feminist work may not
be
>viewed as clearly "useful" to the social or cultural organization
>external to the university, but within which the university exists
and
>depends upon for its existence.  (I.e., How does it increase
economical
>or political control or expansion, etc.?).  This is not to suggest
that
>it may not be as useful, but in terms of the popular perception of
what
>content is useful to fund.  I think that we need to look beyond the
>university to get insight into some of those questions.  And, this is
>why the issue of our internal ethics is so important.  In thinking
about
>this question on my way home yesterday, I think that in terms of
process
>the way that a discipline gets legitimized at least where I work is
>answered in part by a very simply question, "Do we have tenure track
>lines assigned to teach in this area?"  Many of the study areas
(Women's
>Studies being a good example, have what we call an instructional unit
#,
>but all of the faculty have appointments elsewhere, including the
>Chair.) 
>
>Just my two cents, before I return to "selling, cataloging, storing
and
>transmiting the wares of this university."
>
>IB
>
>
>Irene Berkowitz
>Coordinator for Curricular Publications and Systems
>Office of the Vice Provost
>Temple University
>tel. 215-204-7596  fax. 215-204 3175
>berkowitz at mail.temple.edu 
>
>>>>  radhika at cyberdiva.org 11/07/2002 7:27:01 AM >>>
>This discussion on disciplinarity has been very interesting so far,
and
>I
>just know its going to feed into a small presentation I have to give
>here
>at my university tomorrow (entitled "tips on publishing" - what do
*I*
>know
>about that - but if they dont mind hearing me, of course I'll
talk;-))
>. So
>thanks all (I'll make sure to acknowledge "the list").
>
>The problem of inter/cross/trans disciplinarity - when this issue
>becomes a
>battlefield - in the case of promotion, tenure, getting a phd etc in
>the US
>(so I am being very US centric and self-centric here) is accentuated
in
>
>relation to publishing.... where you publish etc - and some
>publications in
>some disciplines dont allow the saying and asking of certain types of
>questions and critiques (again I'm simplifying and being extremely
>polite...) - which is why of course those of us who do more than
token
>
>feminist and cultural studies type work (however much I may mumble
and
>
>grumble about some kinds of appropriation of these - these are still
>some
>of the only academic spaces that even allow  certain kinds of
>conversations) sometimes have an interesting time in relation
>definitions
>of disciplinarity.
>
>Now with "Internet studies" being "interdisciplinary" however - I
find
>less
>resistance (again depending on the kind of *questions* one asks in
>relation
>to the Internet...this resistance is less or more) - perhaps because
>the
>Internet "sells" (in relation to the corporate world, I mean) better
>than
>critiques coming from various counter-mainstream locations?
>
>So when we talk about ethics of inter/trans/cross etc disciplinarity
in
>
>relation to Internet studies - what are we selling?
>
>
>
>r
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>Radhika Gajjala
>
>_______________________
>http://www.cyberdiva.org 
>
>
>
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